Currently, one of the most important challenge for Russia is ensuring food security. The condition for the sustainable development of the agricultural sector is a steadily developing fertilizer market. Three types of fertilizers and their various mixtures are in demand all over the world: nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus.

By the end of 2023, fertilizer production exceeded the level of the last 10 years, reaching almost 60 million tons, which is 9% more than the previous year. The volume of production of mineral fertilizers in terms of 100% nutrients in 2023 amounted to 26 million tons, which is 10.3% higher than in 2022.

Graph 1 - Fertilizer production in Russia, million tons

Source: Rosstat, Ministry of Industry and Trade

The growth in the production of mineral fertilizers in Russia in 2023 is associated with several factors. Firstly, the demand for fertilizers from farmers has increased. Secondly, Russian fertilizer producers were able to increase production volumes due to the modernization of equipment and the introduction of new technologies. Investments in fixed assets of fertilizer producers were the highest in the last 10 years.

In 2023, compared to 2022, capacity utilization in the potash fertilizer production segment increased significantly, which was reduced a year earlier due to the geopolitical situation. For other types of fertilizers, capacity utilization has hardly changed compared to 2022.

Table 1 –The level of use of the average annual production capacity, in %

Types of fertilizers  2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
Nitrogen fertilizers 89,19 90,22 90,3 88,95 90,76 92,32
Phosphorus fertilizers 76.39 74,38 78.7 75,83 75,06 74,80
Potash fertilizers 86.29 89,66 90,83 96,08 56,13 86,87

Source: EMISS

In recent years, the production of Russian fertilizers has increased by 40%, domestic demand has increased 3 times and reached 13.2 million tons.

By the end of 2023, the production of nitrogen fertilizers increased by 5.2% and reached 12.5 million tons. The main growth factors were the expansion of urea production capacities, in particular, at the Akron plant in Veliky Novgorod, as well as the restoration of exports of this type of fertilizer to the United States, the EU and India. In general, the growth in the production of nitrogen fertilizers is quite expected, given the investments of manufacturers in expanding the production base of ammonia and urea in recent years.

Table 2 – Volumes of production of the main types of fertilizers, thousand tons

Types of fertilizers 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
Nitrogen fertilizers 10,421 10,913 11,189 11,403 11,921 12,528
Phosphorus fertilizers 3,992 4,115 4,246 4,316 4,445 4,412
Potash fertilizers 8,547 8,675 9,477 10,708 7,297 9,158

Source: Rosstat

By the end of 2023, 24.6% more potash fertilizers were produced - 9.1 million tons. The results are impressive due to the restoration of logistics chains, production in 2023 is still below the maximum in 2021.

The dynamics of production of phosphorus fertilizers by the end of 2023 turned out to be negative, the volume of output amounted to 4.4 million tons, which is 0.2% lower than the level of 2022.


Russia's share in global exports of mineral fertilizers is 16% and is the second largest after China. The contribution of nitrogen fertilizers to the total volume is 13%, phosphorus fertilizers – 16 and potash fertilizers – 18%.

In 2022, the volume of exports of Russian fertilizers to western countries decreased by 25-30% (minus 3.0 million tons to 10.0 million tons). In 2023, the reduction was another 15-20%.

In total, over 33 million tons were exported in 2023 (+5% compared to last year).

Graph 2 – Export of mineral fertilizers, million tons

Restrictions and challenges have led to a reorientation of supplies to the Asian market and to Latin American and African countries. Fertilizers were supplied to Brazil, India, China, Thailand, Mexico, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Burma, Indonesia, and Turkey. Since June 2023, Russian manufacturers have been recovering from the sanctions pressure. To increase supplies to the markets of friendly countries. By the end of 2022, they accounted for 70% of fertilizer exports, and in 2023 their share increased to 75%.

Of course, the key export destinations have become the countries of the Global South, where three-quarters of all exports are already going. The largest sales markets are India (5.4 million tons) and Brazil (10.3 million tons). Promising markets are African countries, where the share of Russian products is 10%.

Graph 3 – Key importers of mineral fertilizers from Russia by the end of 2023, %

Source: Federal Customs Service

In 2023, China increased imports of Russian mineral fertilizers by 1.7 times, to almost 3.5 million tons. In value terms, this figure increased by 26%, amounting to $1.3 billion. The volume of supplies of potassium chloride (the main type of fertilizers imported by China from Russia) reached 3 million tons last year, compared with 1.7 million tons a year earlier. In value terms, it increased by a quarter, to $1.1 billion.

Russia's revenues from fertilizer exports increased to $17.7 billion at the end of 2023 due to alternative supply routes. Manufacturers have found alternative ways of supply, left the Baltic harbors for the ports of the Russian Federation. The most important export channels were:

  • Baltic Sea wharves, port in St. Petersburg and Ust-Luga on the coast of the Gulf of Finland;
  • a large logistics hub Taman on the Black Sea coast;
  • ports of Murmansk, Novorossiysk, Tuapse.

After leaving the Baltic ports, Russia was freed from transit costs, which exceeded $ 200 million annually. Currently, a large logistics hub is being created in Taman on the Black Sea. Now the cargo turnover of export products is concentrated at the ports of St. Petersburg and Ust-Luga in the Gulf of Finland, Murmansk, Novorossiysk, Tuapse. A fertilizer plant is being built in Nakhodka in the Far East to sell products to China and Vietnam, where demand for various types of fertilizers is constantly growing.

Thus, the geographical structure of exports has changed dramatically over the past two years, sales to Europe have fallen significantly, but sales to Brazil, India, and China have increased significantly.


If in 2022 the gap between prices on the foreign market and domestic was strongly traced, then throughout 2023 the price range between export prices and prices on the domestic market is gradually decreasing. The maximum prices for mineral fertilizers were in the 1st and 2nd quarters of 2022, after which prices are gradually decreasing. By mid-2023, prices for all types of fertilizers are returning to the level of the end of 2021.

Graph 4 – Dynamics of prices for nitrogen fertilizers, thousand rubles/ton

Source: Rosstat, Ministry of Industry and Trade

Graph 5 – Price dynamics for potash fertilizers, thousand rubles/ton

Source: Rosstat, Ministry of Industry and Trade

Graph 6 – Price dynamics for phosphorus fertilizers, thousand rubles/ton

Source: Rosstat, Ministry of Industry and Trade

State support

Currently, the decree of the Government of the Russian Federation "On the introduction of temporary quantitative restrictions on the export of certain types of fertilizers from the territory of the Russian Federation" dated May 27, 2023 No. 822 is in force. This resolution is aimed at ensuring the food security of the Russian Federation (the resolution entered into force on June 1, 2023). It says about restrictions on the export of mineral fertilizers to countries outside the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU). Non-tariff quotas were also established. Thus, Russian agricultural companies were not only able to establish new export supplies, but also strengthen the domestic market by providing local farmers with high-quality fertilizers on time and at the lowest possible prices.

In November 2023, the Government approved quotas for the export of mineral fertilizers. From December 1, 2023 to May 31, 2024, no more than 16.9 million tons (9.8 million tons of nitrogen and 7.1 million tons of complex fertilizers) can be exported. The exception is supplies to the EAEU, Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Since September 2023, an export duty of 7% has been established.

In addition, the Ministry of Industry and Trade has developed new rules for issuing licenses for the export of fertilizers abroad, instead of the existing export quotas. This decision is aimed at reducing the bureaucratic burden on exporters and minimizing restrictions on foreign trade

Russian fertilizer companies asked to introduce general licenses for the export of their products abroad in the summer of 2023. In particular, last June, the Russian Association of Fertilizer Producers (RAPU) spoke about this.

Quotas for the export of complex and nitrogen fertilizers were introduced for the first time in December 2021. The current quota of 16.95 million tons is valid until May 31, 2024.

The Government of the Russian Federation will set the validity period of the general license in each specific case. In any case, the license will expire in a calendar year. If the quota is already fully selected at the time of approval of the general license, the Ministry of Industry and Trade may refuse to issue it. Despite the introduction of general licenses, the government does not plan to abandon quotas.

Key Manufacturers

The key leaders in the production of mineral fertilizers in Russia are the holdings Uralchem, EuroChem, Akron and PhosAgro.

EuroChem is a full-cycle business (from ore mining to product packaging) and is one of the five major global fertilizer producers. It includes branches located in Krasnodar, Stavropol and Perm territories, Tula, Leningrad, Murmansk, Volgograd regions. The Concern produces the following types of fertilizers per year:

nitrogen – carbamide (urea), ammonium, calcium and sodium nitrate, ammonium sulfate, in total in the amount of 1.883 million tons;

phosphorous – 837 thousand tons;

complex fertilizer ammophos containing phosphorus and nitrogen – 324 thousand tons;

multiple-nutrient fertilizer – 216 thousand tons .

The total capacity of the Acron Group plant is 8 million tons of final product. The company produces: ammonia – 2952, ammonium nitrate solution – 2932, carbamide – 2004, nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium fertilizer – 2368, phosphorus raw materials – 1164 (all in thousands of tons). By the end of 2023, Acron increased the production of mineral fertilizers to more than 7 million tons. Compared to 2022, the growth was 1.1%. The commercial output of nitrogen fertilizers decreased by 0.5% to 4.63 million tons. The output of multiple-nutrient fertilizer increased by 4.4% to 2.423 million tons. The production of ammonia products increased by 4.8% to 2.952 million tons, and nitrogen fertilizers decreased by 0.5% to 4.63 million tons.

The PhosAgro Group of companies, with a single management center controlling the entire technological process, is in the first place among Russian producers in the production of phosphorus fertilizers. It supplies more than 50 types of various fertilizers, including those containing phosphorus (in thousands of tons) – 8388, nitrogen – 2605.4. Recently, the company's specialists have developed a new type of fertilizer – water-soluble monoammonium phosphate, which is in demand by farmers from Central Asia.

URALCHEM's branches operate in the Kirov, Moscow, Kaliningrad regions, and Perm Krai and produce per year (million tons): ammonia – 3, ammonium nitrate – 3.2, carbamide -1.2, phosphorous and multiple-nutrient fertilizer – 1.

Thus, EuroChem produces 25% of nitrogen fertilizers from the total volume, Akron produces 18%, Uralchem produces 11% and PhosAgro produces 9.5%. The latter company accounts for 50% of all phosphorus fertilizers produced. Uralchem's subsidiary produces potassium chloride. In recent years, investments in the amount of more than 1.3 trillion rubles have been directed to all production facilities.

In the context of all large agrochemical holdings producing fertilizers, the main share in the production of fertilizers is accounted for by exports. The production of fertilizers for the domestic market is 2-3 times less than for export.

If we consider the leaders of fertilizer producers, then in 2023 PJSC Acron supplied 1,080 thousand tons of fertilizers for the domestic market of agricultural producers, and 3,824 thousand tons for export. JSC "MHC "EuroChem" exported 5,553 thousand tons of fertilizers, and 1,306 thousand tons to the domestic market. JSC Uralchem and PJSC Uralkali jointly exported 5,475 thousand tons of fertilizers, and 1,694 thousand tons to the domestic market for agricultural enterprises. It is possible to single out PJSC KuibyshevAzot, whose sales in the domestic market are significantly higher than exports to foreign markets.

It should be noted that farmers around the world are in greater demand for nitrogen fertilizers, the consumption of which in relation to other types of fertilizers is about 54%.

By the beginning of this decade, there were 15 businesses in Russia producing ammonia with a capacity of about 20 million tons per year and nitrogen fertilizers with a capacity of about 25 million tons. The largest belong to Uralchem, EuroChem, Akron and PhosAgro. The roadmap for the development of mineral fertilizers production adopted in 2019 contained plans for the implementation of 20 projects for the construction of new and modernization of existing facilities for the production of methanol, ammonia, and nitrogen fertilizers with a total investment of over $ 25 billion.

The existing groups of companies are very actively investing both in maintaining existing capacities and in creating new ones. According to Rosstat, 50-80 billion rubles are invested annually in the production of nitrogen fertilizers in Russia, that is, 10-15% of investments in the fixed capital of the entire chemical industry of the country.


According to experts from the International Association of Fertilizer Manufacturers, fertilizer consumption worldwide increased by 4% in 2023 and recovered to 192.5 million tons. But this is still less than the level in 2020, when a record volume of fertilizers was produced – 200.2 million tons. Fertilizer consumption has declined worldwide in recent years due to problems with affordability and high prices. Rabobank estimates that total fertilizer consumption will increase by almost 5% in 2024. Fertilizer prices are expected to remain at a lower level in 2024, and their availability will increase.

At the end of December 2023, the head of RAPU, Andrey Guryev, shared his forecast for 2024, expecting an increase in production in the industry by 10%, to more than 64 million tons. While maintaining the capacity utilization of enterprises and supply volumes, exports, according to the head of RAPU, may exceed the levels of 2021. Experts believe that positive dynamics in nitrogen fertilizers is expected in 2024 due to the introduction of new capacities, in particular, at Eurochem and Shchekinoazot. The production of potash fertilizers retains the potential for recovery, while phosphorus and complex fertilizers are expected at current levels. Global demand will be supported by Brazil, the main importer.

Experts also note that prices for nitrogen and potash fertilizers have returned to average values over the past 10 years and are likely to be at this level in 2024. Prices for phosphorus fertilizers are currently about 30% higher than the average values over the past 10 years, but they are expected to correct after the end of the application season in the northern hemisphere from April. China's transition to the phosphorus fertilizer market may also affect the price reduction expected in April, when China is likely to saturate the domestic market with fertilizers. Despite the decline in world prices, Russian producers continue to increase exports, but this situation reduces revenues compared to the peaks of 2022.